Stock Watch: Team Europe Up; European Tour down

By Ryan LavnerMay 13, 2014, 1:30 pm

Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

RISING

Martin Kaymer (+8%): A 90-minute weather delay threatened to spoil his return to relevance, but the Germanator once again showed his big-game chops with steely pars on 17 and 18. The only players to capture a major, WGC event and Players: Tiger, Phil, Adam and, yes, Kaymer.

TPC Sawgrass (+6%): The course is quirky and awkward and uncomfortable, but this year’s Players offered yet another reminder that 16-17-18 provide the greatest theater in our sport – even in the dark.

USC (+5): Well, the women’s golf team sure knows how to drain the drama out of the postseason. The Trojans won the West Regional last weekend, their ninth victory of the season, and the biggest question heading into the NCAA Championship is this: USC or the field?

Jordan Spieth (+4%): It’s now abundantly clear that he’s pressing in final rounds, trying too hard to win, which rarely, if ever, works out. (See: Tiger at the majors.) Of course he needs to win more if he wants to evolve from very good to a once-in-a-generation talent, but for perspective consider this: The 20-year-old would have just completed his junior year of college. This week he’d be preparing for NCAA regionals with his Texas teammates. He’ll figure it out soon enough.

Team Europe (+3%): Six prospective European Ryder Cuppers finished inside the top 10 at The Players, led by a resurgent Kaymer, the 2012 hero at Medinah. Perhaps it was Paul McGinley’s radiant smile keeping TPC Sawgrass light enough to play.

Rory (+2%): His second-round scoring average over his past four starts (all top 10s) is 74.5. The rest of his rounds: 69.87. The payoff is coming – at least he’s making a lot of birdies.


FALLING

Jim Furyk (-0.5%): For the second week in a row, we watched Jim Furyk watch TV in a losing effort – though this time with a $1.08 million consolation prize. Could be worse.

Richard H. Lee (-3%): Dude provided a self-esteem boost for weekend duffers everywhere.

Patrick Reed (-4%): His results since Doral: 52-MC-48-MC-MC. Still 24th in the world, if you’re keeping score.

Rules (-7%): This moment was inevitable ever since Decision 18-4 went into effect Jan. 1. Ultimately, the PGA Tour rules committee got the Justin Rose call right, which is most important, but you can’t help but wonder if future offenders will be as fortunate.

European Tour (-9%): They mourned the traumatic and sudden loss of one of its own by suspending play for a little more than an hour, having a moment of silence, and then carrying on with the weather-shortened 36-hole event. Embarrassing.

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Ryu thriving again after simple advice from Inbee Park

By Randall MellJune 21, 2018, 7:07 pm

So Yeon Ryu shared Rolex Player of the Year honors last year.

She reigned as world No. 1 for almost five months.

So when she couldn’t keep her momentum going at year’s start, she got frustrated. She wasn’t happy with two top 10s in her first 11 starts.

“I lost a lot of confidence at the beginning of the year,” Ryu said Thursday as she prepared to lead a strong field as the defending champion in Friday’s start of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. “My expectation level was way too high.”

So she sought the counsel of her pal, world No. 1 Inbee Park, who gave her some plain-spoken advice.


Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship


“Get over it,” Park told her. “You know what to do. You’ve done it, so it’s not really a big deal. Don’t worry about it. You were No. 1. You’ve achieved a lot of things as a professional golfer. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.”

Ryu got over it winning the Meijer LPGA Classic last week, the sixth LPGA title of her career, her third in 15 months. She’s feeling good again leading a stellar field this week at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., a strong tune up before next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the year’s third major championship.

World No. 1 Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson are among the top nine players in the world scheduled to compete this week. Twenty-four of the top 30 are in the field.

“When you come to defend your title, you obviously have a lot of pressure, but after I won last week, now I sort of think, maybe I have a chance to defend my title,” Ryu said. “So I've got total confidence, by last week.”

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Watch: Spieth, JT hole bunker shots in back-to-back groups

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 6:57 pm

Jordan Spieth has a thing for holing bunker shots at the Travelers Championship, where he made one in a playoff to win last year.

He did it again in Round 1 at TPC River Highlands, knocking in this shot for eagle at the par-5 sixth to reach 4 under par for the tournament



In the next group, Justin Thomas did the same thing to reach 1 under. Keep an eye out for the best part of this highlight, when Thomas' caddie Jimmy Johnson tries to hand him his putter.

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River Highlands a 'breather' for Zach Johnson (63)

By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 6:43 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – After enduring the pressure-cooker of the U.S. Open, Zach Johnson was more than happy to drift north to the friendly confines of TPC River Highlands.

Birdies were rare last week at Shinnecock Hills, but they’ll be plentiful all week long at the Travelers Championship. Browned-out and crispy conditions transitioned to lush and verdant, and players can attack flags without fear of turning a possible par into a struggle to avoid triple.

Johnson did just that in the opening round, carding eight birdies against a single bogey to take the early lead with a 7-under 63.

“It’s a different kind of breathing. It’s a different kind of exhaling, if you will, but they’re both good,” Johnson said. “You can put some red on the board here. We know that. We’ve seen it. You can go the other way in a hurry if you press it; it can keep going in the other way. So you kind of have to let it happen. This is one of those courses where you have to let it happen.”


Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


Like many in this week’s field, Johnson took it easy after a grueling major championship, staying away from the course Monday and easing into his prep over the next two days. Those decisions paid off quickly as he rattled off six straight birdies on Nos. 11-16 to take sole possession of the lead.

While Johnson tied for 12th last week at Shinnecock Hills, that was just his second top-15 finish since the Sony Open in January. But the veteran is no stranger to fast starts at TPC River Highlands, having now opened with 65 or better four times in his last eight appearances dating back to 2011.

It’s a course where he continues to have success, even if his past consistency hasn’t lived up to expectations.

“I feel like every time I get here it feels like I should shoot nothing, and it bites me,” Johnson said. “The last couple years I’m like, ‘All right, you can’t have any expectations in that regard. You’ve just got to go out and execute, you know, put the ball in the fairway and you will have opportunities.’” 

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First photos from Norman's 'Body' shoot

By Grill Room TeamJune 21, 2018, 6:35 pm

It was revealed earlier this week that Greg Norman would be one of the athletes showcased in ESPN's "Body Issue," which features the models stategically posed in the nude.

Well, the first photos are out from Norman's shoot and ... here they are, if you want them.